By Becca Husselbee
A fat cat who was nicknamed Garfield has been put on a diet by vets – after he balloned by gorging on five meals a day.
Barnaby the ginger moggie tipped the scales at a whopping 1st 2lb when he went for his annual vet check up – and vets told owner Deborah Bull, he had to go on an immediate diet.
Rescue cat Barnaby ballooned after gobbling down five meals a day – including a dinner the same as owners Deborah and Dave.
And he got even fatter after a bizarre phobia of pigeons means he doesn’t like to run about outside.
The 10 year-old cat was re-homed by owner Deborah, 54, and her partner, Dave, 47, after they had to have their previous cat, Jack, put to sleep and saw his advert on the RSPCA website.
Barnaby was a stray before he was picked up by the RSCPA, who believed he had been hit by a car. He suffered a broken leg and was nursed back to health by his new devoted owners back in 2011.
When Barnaby was bought home he was kept indoors to recover and his owners believe this is where his weight problems began.
“We just spoilt him when he came to live with us and because he wasn’t getting around a lot after his car accident.”
“We thought what we were giving him was healthy food, he was just eating a lot of it.
“The last thing we would want to do would be to hurt him, we love him so much.
“When you see your pets every day it can be difficult to notice how big they are getting.
“We are so glad that the vets were honest with us and have given us advice on how to get him down to his ideal weight.”
Exercise was minimal due to injuries from his previous car accident and a fear of neighbourhood pigeons stopped him for venturing outdoors.
Deborah said:”He lost his confidence a lot after the accident and struggled to jump up and get around.”
It wasn’t until they took Barnaby for his annual vaccination back in November last year that the vet gave his owners an unexpected wake up call.
Deborah, a school escort, said: “It was quite upsetting but it was what we needed to hear.”
Vets placed the obese cat on a strict weight-loss routine and at his most recent weigh-in at the vets, had lost 2lbs.
Deborah said: “His target weight is 9 lbs and he now eats special diet food.
“He looks a lot sleeker already but he is not an idle cat. He was just eating far too much food.”
Barnaby was classed as 65% overweight and will go against six other pets from across the UK in a pet weigh-loss contest in association with the PDSA.
Barnaby was so big that vets asked Deborah for permission to enter him in a competition to find Britain’s most successful slimming pet.
TYPICAL DAY’S FOOD FOR BARNABY BEFORE HE WAS PUT ON A DIET:
BREAKFAST: 2 BOWLS OF CATFOOD (1 DRY, 1 WET) AND SAUCER OF MILK
HANDFUL OF TREATS
LUNCH: 2 BOWLS CATFOOD (1 DRY, 1 WET)
HANDFUL OF TREATS
DINNER: WHATEVER OWNERS ARE HAVING FOR DINNER – FILLET OF SALMON, CHICKEN BREAST, OR STEAK